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Planning Commission recommends traffic methodology amendments to General Plan

The county’s Planning Commission voted 7-0 September 19 to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that the Public Facility Element of the county’s General Plan be amended to specify the methodology used in traffic analyses.

The amendments also replaced the Bridge and Thoroughfare fee with the Transportation Impact Fee in which developers provide a fair share cost for cumulative traffic impacts. The county had approved the TIF ordinance in 2005.

If a rezone or general plan amendment proposal involves an increase in density, the Public Facilities Element of the general plan requires an evaluation of the functioning of the circulation element road system.

The existing policy calls for a review based on the planned level of service at buildout while the amendment bases the study on the level of service derived from SANDAG’s regional traffic forecast.

“All traffic forecasts at SANDAG are the same as they are here,” said Planning Commissioner Michael Beck. “The county is in synch technically with the way SANDAG does their traffic forecasts.”

Both the buildout-based approach and the SANDAG methodology use traffic forecasts based on anticipated land uses and associated traffic projections, but the SANDAG models also take into account anticipated traffic based on land use plans from neighboring cities as well as the unincorporated portion of the county.

Use of the SANDAG forecasts is expected to improve coordinated transportation planning.

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